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Southern Madagascar: Government And UN Sound The Alarm On Famine Risk, Urge Action


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
May 11, 2021, 07:51 PDT

ROME, 11 May 2021 / PRN Africa / -- With each day that passes, more lives are at stake as hunger tightens its grip in southern Madagascar. This is the stark warning from two United Nations agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), as they seek to draw international attention to a humanitarian crisis that risks being invisible.

Around 1.14 million people in the south of Madagascar are facing high levels of acute food insecurity, of which nearly 14 000 people are in ‘Catastrophe' (Phase 5 - the highest in the five-step scale of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).


This is the first time that people have been recorded in Phase 5 in Madagascar since the IPC methodology was introduced in 2016. Unless urgent action is taken now, the number of people in the ‘Catastrophe' category is expected to double over the next lean season starting in October 2021.

Drought, sandstorms, plant and animal pests and diseases, and the impact of COVID-19 have caused up to three-quarters of the population in the worst affected Amboasary Atsimo district to face dire consequences, and global acute malnutrition rates have crossed an alarming 27 percent causing irreversible damage to children.

"The issue is no longer about how bad it is - it is extremely bad. Children are starving, children are dying. I met a mother with an 8-month-old child who looked like he was only 2 months old. She had already lost her older child," said WFP Senior Director of Operations Amer Daoudi who recently visited one of the worst-affected areas, Sihanamaro. "We are already witnessing whole villages shutting down and moving to urban centres. This puts additional pressure on an already fragile situation."

The worst drought in four decades, which has been building over three consecutive years, has wiped out harvests and hampered people's access to food. This comes on top of years of deforestation and resulting erosion



SOURCE Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Tags:Southern Madagascar: Government And UN Sound The Alarm On Famine Risk, Urge Action
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